TO THE MOON
It was a secret when I started my first novel.
Another secret was: I finished it successfully……….
And the greatest secret is:
I’m getting it published
Yet……..the fact is-
This novel is
DEDICATED TO YOU
You are my inspiration.
(Just see the smile on your face as you read these lines…..)
Let me finish it in short. ;b
“If you have got something to say, which hasn’t been said yet, you must go ahead to express it.” –this was the main thought when I started this novel.
A story which is in the vicinity of reality and has an essence of true love and sacrifice is surely read-worthy. Moreover it consists concentrated philosophies of life. Some of these can be easily visible while other philosophies may need their exploration out of the story.
Whether you successfully get the hidden message or not, I can assure that you shall enjoy the love story.
Certainly, it will leave you with some unanswered questions also…….and the only way to get their reply is to ponder over them.
It is often said that there is a female hand behind every male face but the situation is a bit different in this particular case. This novel is a result of contribution made by many female hands.
First of all, I am highly thankful to Mukta Di and Shikha Di for their precious feedbacks, guidance and editorial work. This work would not have been possible without you. I’ll keep bothering you in future also. ;b
I am thankful to my close friends Softy(Komal), Amit, Pinki , Sadhana and Leena also. The worthy feedbacks and ideas suggested by them played a key role.
I am thankful to the whole team of Hike and Whatsapp messengers for these marvellous revolutions. They have changed the communication model in 21st century.
I would also thank to the people who have written, composed and sang magnificent Bollywood melodies like ‘Zehnaseeb……’ and ‘Raabta…’. Your rhymes are fantastic.
Finally I am thankful to Ghulam Ali Saheb for his masterpiece –‘Fasle aise bhi honge……’ Singer and writer, both are highly appreciable.
Thank you all for your great contributions.
A BRIEF TO THE TWOS
Dr Arun Sharma:
One of the top 20 billionaires of the world. This genius is a Ph.D. from Stanford University and is a big name in techno world. Has contributed 83 patches (improvements) in Linux on his own and has written a couple of books in the field of literature also. The system - expert- cum- businessman lives in Mumbai. Owner of ‘The SizzlingTech International.’
She is a real beauty. If she had asked me for career guidance, she might have held a crown of Miss World or Universe. Alas! ……she hadn’t…. Anyways, she is a famous social activist and lives in Delhi and has been nominated for Ramon Magsaysay Award, the Nobel Prize of Asia.
THUS IT STARTED
It was a summer evening. A few friends of mine had gathered at my place in Delhi to wish me a happy birthday. There was nothing like a party but four or five friends had arrived to surprise me. It started at six in the evening and was over by seven . My buddies kept on leaving the apartment with sunset. Now only two of them were with me: Writer Kuldeep Jalan and …….Social activist, ‘The’ Ankita Jatav.
“Guys I’m searching for some good story for my novel. Please suggest if you have any idea…….” I diverted their attention from the evening news bulletin on Aaj Tak.
“Hmmm……would think:-b” said Kuldeep.
“May I suggest?” asked Ankita.
“That’s what I want ma’am……!!!!!”
“He can give you a good story,” and she pointed towards the TV screen, Arun Sharma, a big name from business-cum-tech world, flashed there.
“I’m serious………” she said.
“Do you think he’d have any free time for me…….? Possibly… he would behave rudely and I may not be allowed to visit him.”
“You are wrong……just give me your visiting card.”
And she autographed across the card and handed it back to me.
“You send this card, he’ll call you back……” she said with confidence.
“You know him so closely….????”
“Had met for once in my life……”she said and added after a pause of few seconds “Excuse me, Gyan, will have to leave now.”
I bade a good bye to Kuldeep and Ankita, and started planning of my meeting with Arun Sharma.
I had couriered the card to Arun with a letter begging his few minutes. Although there was very little chance that he’d ever call me back, there was nothing bad in trying.
After a couple of days, an unknown but strange-looking number ringed me.... +917222222227
As I picked the call , a heavy but attractive voice ringed into the ear. “Am I talking to Mr. Gyan Prakash…?”
“Hello Gyan, Arun Sharma here. Please visit me this Saturday….You just come to my office, we will plan for the next move there only,” he said.
“Thanks, Arun ……” and the talk ended there. He had called me….unbelievable. Anyways, I liked that surprise.
After a couple of days, on Saturday, I landed in Mumbai. It was the beginning of the monsoon and the weather was quite cloudy. The atmosphere felt pleasant. I entered Arun’s office at about 2 PM, and was welcomed warmly by my Billionaire Host.
“So Mr Writer………how could I help you?” he asked politely with a smile as we had a cup of coffee.
“Ankita had suggested that you can give me a good story for my novel, I don’t know how …….but I’m very sure that you can……”
“Hmmm……when did you meet her for the first time, Gyan?” he asked with a smile.
“Some four or five years back…..”
“Cool…..well; I’d have refused as I don’t have any fond of collecting stories for novels …..hahaha. But I can’t refuse in this particular case because it’s Ankita Jatav who has sent you.”
As I heard this reply, I got sure about one thing – Ankita and Arun knew each other very closely.
“So, visit me at my place in the evening. You will be received at the gate by my people.”
“What should the timings be?”
“11pm to 3:30 am………” he replied.
What….!!! Is it the time to visit someone? My eyes widened and I had a doubt if the so-called genius was mentally sound or not.
“Hahaha…….You can enter the house anytime, Gyan. But this is the spell when you can have a personal talk with me.”
“Thank God…..!!!! I thought that I’ll be allowed in at 11pm sharp…….hahaha…..okay then see you tonight.”
And I decided to explore the tourist spots of the city till nine. After that I entered Arun’s splendid ‘Palace’. A man in black suit guided me to the luxurious guestroom which was far better than the room I had booked at Taj hotel for a couple of days.
“Sir, please press this switch in case you need anything and we will feel honoured at your service,” said the man.
At 11 o’clock , I was guided to a part of the house, on whose entrance the following was written:
ENTRY OF WOMEN IS PROHIBITED
I don’t know why it was there. Anyways, as I entered, I saw a huge hall with many tables and chairs. Its walls were covered with red curtains. It looked like a bar……a luxurious one. I could see Dr Arun walking in the hall in his brown night suit.
“Welcome, Gyan……….so what do you drink?”
“I don’t take alcoholic drinks.”
“And soft drinks……..?”
“Sure ……..can have some. ”
“I hope you wouldn’t mind because I do take alcohols and can’t carry-on without that.”
“Sure……..no problem, but I expect you to be conscious enough to realise rights and wrongs after drinks,” Arun giggled at my reply.
Within a few minutes, a guy was up with a big bottle of soft drink.
Arun suggested me to occupy a chair near the wall. I sat on the chair and watched Arun selecting some drinks for himself.
Suddenly he tossed a bottle towards me.
Although I had never touched this artistic bottle before yet I knew what it was. The name read “Tequila ley 925.” It was one of the most expensive vodkas of the world and priced $3.5 million.
“What the hell, man ……….I told you that I don’t drink anything like this. “
“Washroom is that way , you can go and flush the content since that’s useless for you. Bottle costs a lot and is gilded with 6400 diamonds and is dipped in 24 carat gold and sterling platinum. Just sell it somehow and it will shower you lots of money.”
“No need and I tossed it back to him.”
He placed it back and picked another bottle and four canes of tin.
He handed me two of the tin canes and had his seat opposite to me.
“Are you okay, Arun…….? I am telling you for the third time: I DO NOT TAKE ALCOHOLS. “
“Come on man! It’s mineral water…….Kona Nigari water….. read there”
“But the cost written on it says $402 per 750 ml…..”
“Ohh come on…..!!! may be “ he replied carelessly.
“Arun, do you think that you will always be able to expend this much forever…..?” I asked with wonder.
“Hahaha………do you think that I’d die without Kona Nigari…if I didn’t get it someday? I’ll drink anything else man…….!!!”
I picked the big bottle he had brought with water. ‘Everclear’ it read. About $17 per 1750ml- a deadly poison which was banned in many parts of America. I don’t know how he succeeded to import it to India. Probably it was smuggled somehow.
“Do you regularly take this drink?” I asked.
“No ……actually I take a little quantity of it in diluted form as and when I feel like, otherwise it can be fatal.”
Saying this he ordered the servant to go out. He removed the curtains on my right hand side and a magnificent hypnotic view flashed outside the huge windows. The servant had left the room switching all the lights off.
The room was bathed in the black and we sat on chairs facing beautiful view of the sea. The sea was focused upon by powerful mercury lights from the building top we sat in, and was spread till the horizon .At a distance of 7 or 8 kilometres, there was a railway bridge over the sea, illuminated with yellow lights. Sometimes scheduled trains passed over it and looked like something available on toy shop. We could hear no voice…….the whole atmosphere was still and silent. A small fraction of light, reflected from the sea made it possible to see the unclear image of Arun.
“Now……we can carry on, ” said Arun pouring a little quantity of drink into the glass and mixing it with mineral water.
“Sure……what story are you going to tell me?”
“I will tell you a love story……….I’ll tell what true love actually looks like, would you like to listen that?”
“Yeah… that would be a good idea. Is it going to be a true story?”
“Even if it’s true, you must never tell that it was a true story and even if it’s fake I’ll not tell you that it’s a fake story for which Ank has sent you …..”
“Hmmm……..okay let’s start ….what’s the name of the story?” he thought for a while, as I asked this question, sipping the drink frequently and gazing into the sea water as if he were searching for some lost pearl.
“A Smooch To The Moon……..” he said as he looked at the moon rising over the horizon…….
I TOSS A KISS TO HER EVERY NIGHT EXPECTING THAT SHE’D DELIVER IT TO MY DARLING
THIS IS WHY I WAIT FOR THE NIGHT:
A SMOOCH TO THE MOON………
1. A Glance……
“Yesss…a six!!!!“ she chirped.
It was a winter morning. She and I sat on the only bench kept in the ground.
A few classmates were playing a cricket match. These guys were quite passionate about cricket. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that they were crazy about the game. They often took the willow bat and ball to the college along with their backpack containing a couple of books. Passion for anything makes you put these efforts. Cricket is a good mean to kill your time. It is a good time pass for me as well but with a little difference. They played ….I watched. For me, it was enough to bring a few units of notebooks. Yes, sometimes my laptop accompanied the stuff.
Today I meant to be the half of the audience .And Ankita formed the other half of audience. We had attended the previous lecture and this slot was free.
I loved to enjoy the winter sun and whenever got some chance to grab my share of sunlight, never missed it. Her presence by my side had made the moment more auspicious.
She was almost drowned into the game. But ……I was drowned somewhere else…..in someone’s free hair …which often dared to disturb my meditating-like eyes on her face…….
She got beautiful hair and unfortunately, that magical hair trapped me many a time.
This is how human brain works. Whenever it spots some emotions in the surrounding, gets sink into it. You see others laughing and join them…..Sometimes you don’t even know the reason. And sometimes you see someone in extreme grief and it turns you sad. Joy and happiness of your friends fills you with joy. The energy level and excitement of Ankita filled me with energy and joy. That moment made me feel that everything is fine in this life. I loved to see her cheerful face.
But her hair ……..shiiittt!!!
“What-if I dare to adjust this stupid fellow behind her shoulders? “ I asked myself. “Probably it would be a great way out. …….”
“Come on man! Do you want to listen something unexpected or what? “a voice struck from within.
My subconscious wanted to remove the hair. After all, there was nothing wrong in it. We were friends and it was not a big deal.
On the other hand my conscious warned me again and again“ She is your friend but it doesn’t mean that she’d like your stupid act of adjusting her hair …….maybe she wouldn’t like. May be it’d spoil your image…”
“Whatever,” The unconscious went on, “let’s give it a try. I’d not do anything in wrong manner. I’d do nothing more than that….but adjusting her hair. “
I gently used my middle finger to remove the cute hindrance between her face and my eyes with caution in order to avoid any contact with her lips and cheek.
My sudden action surprised her. She turned her face towards me. It still contained a slowly fading smile.
“People are watching us, Arun!!” she said in a calm voice.
“None is watching us… chill. And even if they are, what wrong did I do? Let them ….”I said. Although I, myself wasn’t fully satisfied with the answer.
“Even if none sees, please avoid it .I don’t like. “
My heart sank. Possibly she felt bad. She was still lost in the match. And I also seemed to do the same. But now the whole audience was still and expressionless.
“Why the hell did you do that? “ my conscious scolded me.
“How glad she was ! You, the stupid fellow ….see her face now… Selfish!!! You removed her smile along with the hair.”
After a few moments I realized that the match was over. She got busy with her cell phone for a couple of minutes while I was still gazing at the open ground which had no player anymore.
She lifted her face up and snapped her finger. I turned my face towards her. As I saw her cute smiling face, my heartbeats went normal.
“Thank God! She’s okay. She’s not so much serious “I told to myself.
“Should we move on ….?” she asked in descent tone with a smile.
I looked at the sun and he seemed to wink at me through the clouds.
“Had a nice dose…” I said.
“Sorry…!!!” she tried to show as if she had not got what I meant to say.
“Of vitamin d …..”
She smiled back. Possibly she had understood my sarcasm.
“Hmm. Match was also good.”
“Yeah, it was.”
Very soon we were at the college gate as the last lecture had been cancelled. We were free now. She greeted me a bye and we moved in two opposite directions…..to our sweet homes.
It was 20th June. The sun seemed to be angry. Temperature was touching 40°. Delhi University had announced its first cut off list.
In most of the courses of D.U., students are admitted on the basis of marks obtained in 12th standard. They issue a list announcing the minimum required percentage for the admission in various courses.
I was watching some news channel in my living room. I had decided to scan the first cut off having nothing to do with my admission. My plan was to be active with the second cut off. I googled for the list .None of the colleges had their cut-off lower than 94% .I didn’t find myself to be eligible to get admission in any of the colleges.
This is how rapidly the wheels of time rotate. The sun keeps on shifting towards the west every moment whether we give any attention to it or not…..the whole year turns over.
I was happy as the school was over. Now there was the college life waiting for me.
I remembered my school days ……my hostel, classroom, teachers. And of course……my friends and fellows. It seemed as if it were just yesterday when I was in my 10th standard. I dived into the sea of past memories.
Two years back Classroom of 10th class.
As the clock struck a quarter to 5,our homework- classes were over. We were free to go to the playground now.
Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas have magnificent time schedule. Their time management is fabulous. Every spell of time is managed smartly. The life starts at 5 in the morning with yoga and exercises. Classes….. sharp at half past 7. And at quarter past 11, you are given a break for fifteen minutes. Classes end at 1:40. And this schedule is followed throughout the country.
As the classes finish at 1:40, mess is ready with your lunch.
We had two mess: one for girls and another for boys. After lunch, you can have rest till quarter past three and sharp at 3:15 you have remedial classes for clearing your doubts and doing the homework till quarter to 5.
That’s a disciplined life style and it is a different world ….everything is systematic.
As the remedial classes were over, girls began to move out of the classes. According to the school rules, girls left the classes before boys. I was still lost somewhere in my book. One fellow moved by my side and showered some little pieces of papers over me.
“Stupid…!” Before I could express it out, I saw the last girl, Aarushi, leaving the class.
I shook my head and avoided the act with a smile.
“Doesn’t matter“, I told to myself.
After a while I felt giggles of a few fellows…
“Lol man …….hahaha, “ said Ajay.
I kept quiet.
“How do you feel buddy…..? Do you like it?” he asked.
“Not at all!!” I responded in higher octet.
“Well…chill for now. We’d talk about the case in the hostel ….after dinner,“ Tanuj said “Hahaha….let’s go to the volleyball ground.“
We left the class .They moved to the volleyball ground and I was still standing outside the class.
“Where to go now …..Gym, badminton court or…..should I go for table tennis….? “I found it a bit hard to decide. Actually I wanted to go nowhere. Still I decided to go for a chess match.
Gagan sat opposite to me and pondered for his next chance while I was pondering over the experience I had a few minutes ago……
I lost the first game.
“1-0…..” Gagan tickled me.
“Let’s go for one more ….” I suggested.
I was the winner this time.
“Equal-equal “I said.
“Once more? “
“Why…what’re you going to do dude? Let’s carry on. “
“Sorry yaar. No mood for now .“
I left the venue.
I was writing my speech after the dinner. I had to deliver it the next day. The ‘on-duty house’ had to perform a few activities during the morning assembly everyday .It was our house that was on- duty this week. The house master had handed me the responsibility to handle the assembly activities. I had decided to share a story with the school members and convey some moral message myself. After all, the internal democracy must be maintained and you cannot always push other ones.
“Hello boss …..” it was Ajay.
As I turned, I found Mahesh and Tanuj accompanied him.
“Hello ….if you don’t have any certain objective, please slip off. I’m busy for now. See you tomorrow, I bombarded in rude but calm tone.” “Would you oblige us telling what are you doing?” Ajay said rotating his eyes round and round with his hands on his waist.
“I’ve to write my speech. It’s my turn to go on the stage tomorrow “
“We know you need no special preparation for that. Preaching is there in you genes, “Tanuj said and all the three broke into laughter.
“Come on yrr. I know you’ll do it successfully without all these preparations.”
They knew I could speak something at the spot for the dignity of the house because I had done it many a time. Anyways, I agreed to join them for a gossip session.
We came out of the hostel for a walk in the open air. I could see the twinkling lights from the distant city. Cool breeze was blowing. There were farms spread outside the school boundary. And beyond the farms you could see a silver line during the day. It is the Yamuna river. On the other side of the river, there was a vast city ….Greater Noida.
“Why didn’t you say something yrr? “said Ajay “Do you like it? “Ahhh…although….I didn’t like it but what was bad in it? It’s ok buddy. “
“Maybe it’s ok for you, but I’d never have tolerated that. Didn’t you notice……the whole class was laughing at you ……whole class!!”
“What do you think …what to do? …Go for some WWE? “
“No. But you should respond to the act. Otherwise they will develop a habit to tease you every now and then. “
“Hmmm….possibly he’s right, “I told to myself.
“Hahaha….leave it man. You may be good in studies, public speaking and debate …but it needs some guts to strictly oppose them, “Mahesh said and it made them giggle.
“See man …I can do it. In fact I’d set her right. You just watch. “
“Oh really? …what’d you do? “
“I’d ….I’d ….pull her hair ….” I said with some hesitation.
“Haha …you can’t ….impossible, “Mahesh spoke.
“Hey, you …..just see tomorrow …I’d set this Aarushi right. “
“Ohh….let’s see then.”
All the three laughed as they greeted me a good night and I got busy in deciding my strategies.
“After all, I too have some image. “
The next day was going to be a memorable one. I had a glass of water and then I rolled on the bed to begin my journey to the dreamland.
A fresh new day was ready with open hands and Navodayans were ready to welcome the sun at 5 am….The sun rose illuminating in the form of a red ball behind the Yamuna, who is said to be his own daughter. About 600 young powers of JNV greeted him with a Surya Namaskar.
The NCC cadets of the school started their drill.
The life on the earth started on its wheels. Everyone rushed for his daily routine and so did we.
I was in the class by 7:30. My speech was delivered well and now we were in our classrooms. As the third lecture ended, Ajay came to me and reminded me of my oath ....(as being a good friend of mine, it was his duty to remind me of this.) I thanked my well -wisher for his great efforts.
Within a couple of minutes, Dubey sir was in the class. He taught us mathematics in his bold voice which was no less than any noise. He was an acclaimed teacher and had written a couple of books.
One day when Dubey sir was inside the class and teaching us calculus, Upasana ma’am, the language teacher approached him.
“Sir….if you don’t mind, would you please control your pitch ….? It’s disturbing, “ she said.
“Ma’am it’s my natural voice quality and it’s God gifted. It helps me keeping my students awake. And as far as the disturbance is concerned ….you would have to handle of your own …I’m sorry,” he replied. Upasana ma’am returned back with the sour face. Hence it was a well proved fact that nothing could disturb Dubey sir.
Now the forth lecture was on progress. Even his high pitch was unable to keep me alert today. We had a fifteen min break after this lecture. My heart was pounding. I could hear my heartbeats.
Aarushi sat in the row left to me. She was hardly a couple of feet away from me. The lecture ended and the teacher left the class. Now it was my turn to prove myself.
“Come on Arun!” I encouraged myself.
I turned back and Ajay showed me a thumbs up. I started counting.
“One…two… three…. four …five …go!!!”
I stood and moved to her and gently pulled one of her two braids with no intention to harm her, but to prove myself among the stupid fellows. It was totally unexpected for her.
“Aaaaaaaaaa .. . …” she screamed with an afraid face, her head turned upward facing me as a result of the pull and eyes widened with fear. I still feel that soft hair among my three fingers.
I left her within a couple of seconds and before anyone could react to me, I stepped straight out of the class breathing deep and deep.
“Hhwwwww……..” I could hear this in unison as I moved out.
Ajay, Mahesh and Tanuj followed tracing me.
“My God …..!!!!!!heheheeeheee….I can’t believe , Arun. You are great!!” said Mahesh.
“Just leave me now …” I said “I’m not in any mood to talk to anyone.”
“Quickkkkkk……” I almost shouted finding them still standing by my side.
They left me alone and I moved to the computer lab pretending to complete my pending assignment.
I could do no significant task on the PC and kept dragging the mouse and writing and undoing things again and again. Only thing I could do was thinking a lot over my step.
“Was it right ….?” I asked to myself.
“Possibly , no “
Gosh…..why the hell we turn a genius only after having spoilt the things and not before that…?Why the hell I did do all that stupidity. I wanted to ask these questions to myself.
The bell rang for the last eighth lecture. I recollected myself with great courage and moved towards the classroom.
Aarushi wasn’t there.
I saw Ritu and she passed a smile to me.
“You pulled her braids ….but it wasn’t she who disturbed you yesterday “,she smiled as she spoke.
Those guys had broadcasted the reason behind my action.
“It was Urmi …..”she continued. I could see Urmi sitting in the corner. She was laughing behind her palm.
“Ohhhh emmmmm jiiiiiii “ this was all I could say. I meant to say ‘oh my God.’”
I gave Urmi an angry look .But she broke into laughter. It made the whole class laugh along with me.
As Aarushi entered in the class, her face was red with embarrassment .She looked at me and resisted the eye contact.
The teacher had arrived into the class.
“Shhh Shh ….Aarushi, “ I whispered.
She looked at me and smiled.
“I am sorry yrrr, “ I spoke touching my ears.
“You ……!!….haha… It’s okay, there’s no reason to feel sorry about that,” she spoke restricting her smile to turn into laughter.
“Ohh really! …am I permitted to try once more? “ I teased that nice girl.
“Huuuupppp….nooo,” she laughed aloud.
“Did I share some joke Aarushi? “asked the teacher.
“Sorry ma’am,” she regretted and we continued to attend the class with big smiles.
“Arun, I got a chance to talk to your momma when she came last time and came to know that you have no real sister,” Aarushi said to me on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan .
“Hmmm……but I don’t feel bad for what I don’t have. “
“I don’t have any real brother.“
“Ohh …I see.”
“May I tie this Rakhi band on your wrist?” she asked with innocence. I was gazing at her face in surprise.
“I mean it’s ok if you don’t want, Arun” she continued thinking that I was not interested.
“Ohh that’s great. Of course you can……!!! ” I said with joy …how sweet she is. She tied her handmade Rakhi on the top of it Arun was written. I loved it.
I ran to the school canteen and bought a chocolate. I kissed the chocolate and offered as a gift.
“For my dear sis, “I said.
Her eyes were filled with tears and my heart was filled with joy.
“Never hesitate to sent for me as and when required “ I wiped her tears with my hands and she smiled as I moved out of the class remembering her sweet face.
“Hello sirrrrr! !” said momma.
“Are you here only ….I called you thrice “
I came out of the sea of memories.
“Go and have a bath now …..lazy boy !“ she instructed and I moved to the bathroom.
With the announcement of the second cut off list, I was ready with the printout of it. I wanted to get admission either in physics or computer science honours.
“Kamla Nehru College” I read from the list.
Fortunately, I found myself eligible to opt admission in several colleges. But a few of those that my percentage could afford, were girl’s. Finally I succeeded to pick out four colleges. I had expected these four to be co-ed ,BUT ….unfortunately, Google baba informed me that two of them were again …girl’s colleges. Now I had only two options for now. One of them was Kamla Nehru College. I tried to know if it was also a girl’s college but couldn’t succeed.
By ten in the morning I was wandering in the busy capital of the country. Temperature was above 40°c .I had the print-out of cut-off list, my certificates and most important friend of mine……my cell phone with internet access. I had the address of college. But I was not so much habitual of the buses of city transport corporation. So I decided to go by metro trains.
By 12 O’clock I was at the metro station nearest to the K.N. College. I hired a taxi to the college.
Within an hour, I stood in front of the college gate.
The giant gate of the college was opened apart. Everyone could enter in the college premises. I could see people in and out. I could watch beautiful chicks, senior citizens and policemen. But still I could smell something fishy. I did see cool and friendly people around but I didn’t see any boy of my age group.
“Excuse me, sir …..is it a girl’s college ?“ I asked a gentleman who seemed to be the college faculty.
“Yeah, it is …why?”
“ Nothing, just getting assured, “ I said with a smile hiding my real objective. He also passed a formal fake smile and moved on.
I looked around to see if someone was watching me. Luckily, none was noticing. I slipped out of the gate with Goliath- steps.
“Humph……..a tiring job and all in vain.“
If any of my school friends had seen me here, they’d have tossed me up. Thank God ….I’m alone. I decided to keep this incident buried deep into myself.
I visited the roadside Tibetan dumpling store and asked for a full veg plate. I looked at my watch showing 3 o’clock. I decided to return home and visit the other colleges next day.
As I turned back, I saw a familiar face. It was none other than Aarushi. She was with her two other friends. She had precisely recognized me as I turned back.
“Hey, Arun …..what a coincidence!!“ she said cheerfully.
“Hello Aarushi, how are you doing? “
“I’m fine, and you?”
“Ohh lemme introduce you with my friends.. …here is Puja and she’s Suman …..and friends, he is Arun.”
“Hello…nice to see you. “
“By the way, how did you come to be here?” she fired the big question of the day. Suddenly I forgot my strategies and spoke it out.
“Well, I was here for admission and you? “oops …it was out.
“Did you say admission ….?”
“Hahaha……are you joining this girl’s college? “all the three laughed at her conclusion.
“Excuse me ……there is nothing like laughing. I thought it’s a co-ed institution and that’s all. Bye, now.”
And I quickly left the place.
“Shit…..! Why she had to come only when I was turning back. Couldn’t they wait for a couple of minutes and let me leave without this mess.
Anyways, I was back to the home by evening and wanted to have a good sleep. I had one more day to get some secure place under second cut-off list.
“Go upstairs ….room no 43…..computer science department,“ the peon guided me at St. John’s College.
I was on the first floor in no time but couldn’t see the required room number.
“Excuse me, would you please guide me to room no. 43….?”I asked a girl coming from opposite side.
“Sure….I’m coming from the same. Go straight and turn left,” she said with innocent voice.
I entered the room. I saw three faculties sitting around a table. One of them was a gentleman in his thirties.
“Hmmm….give me your mark sheet of 12th class,” the man said as I greeted them a good morning.
“Well…it’s ok. You will have to submit these documents. We’ll return you all these after some time,“ he said passing me a list.
The list included my transfer certificate also which I had forgot to bring.
“Sir….I don’t have TC for now. May I please submit it tomorrow? “
“Don’t worry, bring all these documents tomorrow along with your TC and you’ll get the admission “ a lady college faculty sitting by the side said.
“But ma’m, isn’t it the last date for admission under second cut-off? “
“You will get the admission tomorrow,“ she said smilingly.
I came out of the place and rang to the vice principal, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya . I asked him for the favour and told that I’d be in school between five and six pm. He assured me to get issue my TC. I also asked for the provisional certificate, but he couldn’t hear me and disconnected while I was still confused if he had heard my second demand or not.
I rushed straight for the school campus from the college with a firm decision to take the admission next day at any cost.
The watch struck 5:45 .I attended the call from
Vice Principal, JNV.
“Where are you, Arun?”
“I’m about to reach sir, three and a half kilometres away from you. “
“Ok….do come as soon as possible, I have to leave for some urgent task,” he disconnected.
“Bhaiya zra tej chalao ….zaruri kaam hai” I asked the taxi driver to increase the speed. He rejected my request giving the reason that the road was rough.
Within 3 minutes, my cell phone was again ringing.
“ Where are you, boy?”
“Just reaching, sir, sorry for inconvenience. “
“Ufff….come on …..come fast. “
I was unable to do anything.
At last I was at the school gate. Suddenly it rang again.
“ It’s really disgusting. Do you know how precious my time is? Wandering near the school entrance like any watchman by leaving an important meeting,” he was in a fury.
“ sssssssorrry, sir. Beg your pardon. I am inside the school campus. I can see you. “
“Any other favour, “ Vice sir asked as I received the TC.
“Yes sir, ….provisional certificate,“ I said with great courage.
“ You stupid fellow. Couldn’t you tell at the same time when you asked for TC? Damn …….what’s gonna be the future of this country…. “ he said in an annoyed tone.” Tell me time by your watch.“
“Ten past six, sir.“
“Can you visit tomorrow for that provisional certificate? “
“Sorry sir, I’ve to submit it tomorrow. “
“ My God!!!!!! You are …….” he stopped in between. My face turned pale.
“Sharma ji …..I’m really sorry but it’s urgent I’m sending Arun to the office, get it open and issue him provisional certificate. “
After this talk with the office clerk, he called the gateman to open the office.
“Go!!” he commanded me and I left without a word.
“I say it’s not so much important and they will take the admission even without this. But you have a grand plan to disturb us …..hunhhhh,“ the clerk said. I kept quiet.
He filled the certificate and made the peon rush to the principal’s residence for his signature. Finally I left the school by 7:15 and obliged them , possibly they took a sigh of relief .
This gave vice sir a good reason to laugh aloud when I visited the school next time. We laughed but never discussed that incident after that day.
Next day, third cut-off was released. I was in the college by 11:30. As I entered the room, I saw the same sweet and innocent girl who had guided me to the room number 43 the previous day. She looked beautiful in blue sleeveless suit.
“ Wow…she’s gonna be my classmate, “I told to myself. She had attractive hair braided artistically. Fair complexion and slim figure when combined with her smile, could create some crowd-disaster.
She gave a familiar look to me and served her smile. I also responded with the same. She submitted her documents and now it was my turn.
We together came out of the room. I was feeling relieved and her smile too signified something similar.
“ Hello, nice to see you again …” I said offering my hand for friendship. She shook it warmly.
“Same here ….Ankita Jatav. “
“Arun Sharma …”
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A Smooch To The Moon is a novel illustrating the divine and true love story of a famous social activist and a famous businessman. The pair falls in love with one another but the irony, one who worked for improvement of society, had to move away from her love due to the fear of society because she belonged to a radical community which didn't permit relationship with a lad of any other community, which was true for her boyfriend. Gyan had always been a philosophical writer. The novel reveals various philosophical aspects of human life. How you will enjoy the work